Throughout their journey at St Edward’s CE Primary School, we believe that every child should:
Have the opportunity and support to become fluent, confident and skilled communicators, irrespective of their context or starting point;
Be exposed to a rich and diverse range of experiences, in both reading and writing, and be challenged to deepen and apply their English skills and knowledge throughout the curriculum;
Develop conceptual fluency in reading and writing, through a carefully developed curriculum that encompasses the principles of cognitive neuroscience and best practice;
Enjoy a curriculum that places emphasis on evidence-led research: cognitive load theory, principles of instruction, making vocabulary explicit, ensuring that generative learning tasks fit together securely in a curriculum structure to develop excellence.
Experience a curriculum that is unapologetically ambitious, cohesive and rich in knowledge and vocabulary.
Throughout our school, we use the principles of Talk for Writing to immerse children in the language, structure and features they will need to become good writers. They begin by learning rhymes, poems, stories and information texts off-by-heart in order to internalise the patterns of language. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it, before putting pen to paper to write their own. Alongside this, other essential skills are taught discretely. Spelling patterns and high frequency words are taught explicitly, as are correct use of grammar and punctuation.
Talk for Writing is a powerful way of teaching writing to all children of all abilities because it is based upon the principles of how children learn.
The process of imitation, innovation and independent application can be adapted to meet the needs of learners at all stages.
Imitation provides a model text which is pitched well above the pupils level. Time is taken to learn to ‘talk the text’ which strengthens memory and helps children internalize the story, poem or non fiction text. Throughout the process, children learn about the structure and underlying patterns that are common to the text type. Ambitious vocabulary is discussed learned.
Once the text has been learned, analysed and understood, children are taught how to create their own version. This is the innovation stage. Shared and guided writing is used to stage writing over a number of days so that pupils are writing texts bit by bit, concentrating on bringing all the elements together, writing effectively and accurately. Feedback is given throughout so that pupils can be taught how to improve their writing, make it more accurate, until they can increasingly edit independently.
The final stage of the process is the Invention or Independent Application phase. At this point, children use all they have learnt to write a version of the model text independently. More able writers will make extensive changes whilst less confident children will ‘hug’ more closely to the model text.
‘Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.’ Barack Obama
Learning to read is the most important aspect of learning in a child's primary curriculum. We place importance on it through having high expectations for all children, investing in reading in terms of time, training and books as well as sharing a love of reading with each child.
Children begin to read using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme, which enables them to make secure, rapid progress.
Our class libraries are continually being updated and contain a large range of fiction and non-fiction books.
Regular practise in comprehension, in discussing texts, learning texts and having stories read to the whole class are important components of our approach to reading.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.